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Healthy living

Browse creative ideas to encourage and promote healthy living.

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View the ideas submitted to Healthy living

The problem

Although traditional health care often focuses on care after someone is sick, healthy living – for example, eating well, exercising regularly, and not smoking – is one of the best ways to prevent health problems in the future.

We know that:

  • eating healthy can help protect you from heart disease and stroke, and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes and some kinds of cancer
  • people who are physically active are less likely to develop heart disease and other chronic health problems
  • if you stop smoking, within 24 hours, your risk of heart attack starts to drop and within 5 years your risk of stroke is the same as someone who never smoked

Although we offer programs and supports to help people stay healthy, have introduced menu labelling to help people make informed and healthier food choices and are helping smokers quit, what new and creative ideas and technologies should we consider to help people stay healthy?

Who we're trying to help

While everyone can benefit from adopting healthy living, due to factors beyond their control there are groups in the province that may be more at risk for developing certain chronic diseases, such as, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and asthma. These groups include, people:

  • living on low incomes
  • in rural and remote communities
  • with mental health and addiction concerns
  • from certain racial backgrounds


We are looking for ideas that promote health for everyone and/or offer new ways of connecting with groups that have traditionally been hard to reach.

What we're doing/have done

Healthy living

We fund 36 Public Health Units (opens in a new window) across the province. They offer healthy living programs, mental health promotion and disease prevention information for members of their local communities.

Smoke-Free Ontario

In 2007, we launched Smoke-Free Ontario (opens in a new window) which combines programs, policies, laws and public education to help:

  • smokers quit
  • protect people from exposure to second-hand smoke
  • encourage young people to never start

Healthy kids

Through the Healthy Kids Community Challenge (opens in a new window) we give money, training and social marketing tools to 45 communities across the province, to run programs about healthy eating and being active for kids and their families. This program reaches 40% of Ontario’s population including Indigenous populations served by six Aboriginal Health Access Centres and Community Health Centres. 

We also offer free fruit and vegetables to elementary and middle school students in the districts of Algoma, Porcupine and Sudbury through the Northern Fruit and Vegetable Program. The program reaches over 190 schools and approximately 37,000 students every year.

We partner with the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to help pay for the Student Nutrition Program (opens in a new window), which helps provide nutritious meals and snacks in schools. During the 2015-16 school year, the program served nearly 900,000 children and youth.

Menu labelling

We also introduced the Healthy Menu Choices Act (opens in a new window), which requires all food-service chains with 20 or more locations in Ontario, to post the number of calories in the food and drink items they sell.

Learn more

Learn more about:


242 ideas submitted to Healthy living


Ban parfum to protect health and MCS sufferers

This idea did not move past government review because it would not help support any of the Budget Talks focus areas.

Parfum and various other chemicals pollute the air, are bad for our health, can be especially bad for the health of children, and discriminate against and greatly reduce the enjoyment of life for MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities) sufferers.

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Created on November 3, 2017 by Toronto Simon.

Ban Smoking in Apartment Buildings

This idea did not move past government review because it did not meet the guidelines for a Budget Talks submission.

If smoking were banned in apartment buildings, non-smoking tenants would have healthier homes. This includes balconies and terraces and all open spaces. No smoking within 50 feet of a residential building.

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Updated on October 25, 2017 by home_is_eternity.  5 comments

Better Business Bureau for Pharmacies

This idea did not move past government review because it would not help support any of the Budget Talks focus areas.

I consume a number of medication, and doctor prescribed vitamins. In my travels i noticed a pharmacy that was giving free vitamins (Vitamins are not covered by some disability pensions).

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Created on October 29, 2017 by Myron Steinman.

Better Mental Health Supports To Turn Challenging Situations into Fulfilling Opportunities

This idea did not move past government review because it would not help support any of the Budget Talks focus areas.

Investments in better mental health supports that promote opportunities for residential communities and ultimately job placements to create an integrated 360 approach to empowerment.

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Created on October 23, 2017 by Tony Genco.  6 comments

Better work-life balance

This idea did not move past government review because it would not help support any of the Budget Talks focus areas.

I propose that the government should implement policies that enable a better work-life balance for Ontarians.

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Created on November 2, 2017 by Liane22.

Breastfeeding Subsidy

This idea did not move past government review because it did not meet the guidelines for a Budget Talks submission.

Mothers who are able to breastfeed are saving the government money. Babies that are breastfed have less medical problems and have a decrease in adult obesity.

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Created on November 3, 2017 by Kimberley Ruxton.

Bring back GO Busses on Stouffville Line

This idea did not move past government review because it would not help support any of the Budget Talks focus areas.

In June 2017, the Stouffville line lost its GO Busses. These GO Busses provided express service during the midday and evenings between Markham / Stouffville and downtown Toronto. These busses ran every 20-30 minutes.

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Created on October 23, 2017 by bubbles.

Bring back rail service for North Bay area

This idea did not move past government review because it would not help support any of the Budget Talks focus areas.

I think that the rail service to North Bay should be available again. The only way to travel to Toronto or other areas that provide specialized health care, besides driving a car, is by bus. Porter air service is gone.

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Created on October 28, 2017 by Transport for everyone.

Buffers for watercourses

This idea did not move past government review because it would not help support any of the Budget Talks focus areas.

Mandatory requirement for a 30 meter buffer for all watercourses enforced by Municipal bylaw or Conservation Authorities to improve water quality in Ontario

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Created on October 23, 2017 by chesterpeg.

Ceiling price on alcohol

This idea did not move past government review because it does not align to the Government of Ontario policies and/or priorities.

Professional sporting events such as BlueJays and Maple leaf games charge large sums of money for alcoholic beverages. The price is often 2x the cost of the retail price charged by LCBO.

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Created on October 13, 2017 by RyanL.  1 comment

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